Autism is described as a developmental disorder impairing ones ability to communicate and also causes hypo or hyper-sensitivity which ultimately creates behavioral and social skill challenges. Is this like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, an indicator of where our health on the planet is going, or is a developmental disorder on a rampage? We all must learn to recognize it, understand it and do something about it.

Nearly everyone I bump into these days has heard about Jenny McCarthy talking about a new diet for autism or the basketball kid Jason McElwain who scored numerous hoops in a row when finally invited by his coach to play rather than sit on the sidelines and watch. It’s great that autism is gaining recognition through star power. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism is a disorder that has increased from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150, in the last twenty years.

The first question I’m asked is “do you think it’s really an increase or just a greater understanding of the diagnosis?” Look around you. Do you see the same number of adults with autism reflected in our adult population? Likely not; that should answer your question. At which time they follow with “Do you think it’s the vaccines?”. That’s a tough one to answer.

Since I am not a scientist, nor a medical doctor, I am not in a position to say whether or not the mercury in vaccines causes autism. Since mercury is a toxic substance, however, common sense tells all of us that it doesn’t make sense to use it in anything, period. Regardless of the cause, the bottom line is that we have many children on their way through adolescence into adulthood that need our help.

It is vitally important to gain understanding into the autism spectrum whether you know someone with the disorder or not. Chances are that you will undoubtedly know someone in your lifetime with autism. A first step is being aware of your own environment, which can become increasingly toxic with both pollution and some of the things we pass off as food. Knowing that someone with autism is more susceptibility to environmental toxins than the rest of us can help you take steps to safe guard yourself and your family. I was reading an article about the fragility of New Orleans levy situation six months prior to Katrina devastating the coast. It seems that given the opportunity to be preventative, we as a society, seem to wait on the sidelines to see what will happen before we act. We need to get off those sidelines and take a proactive hand in our lives.

When my son Jonathan was first diagnosed with autism at the age of two, I didn’t hesitate getting him the much needed intervention he so desperately needed. Unfortunately many parents put it off, waiting and hoping the diagnosis was a mistake or that their children will outgrow it. At that time I asked the doctor what Jonathan's life prognosis would be like in 20 years and he said “you really don’t want to know” This scared the living daylights out of me, at first, but then I decided that I absolutely wanted to know as much as I could about his diagnosis. I wanted to be able to help guide his life towards a positive future goal. I began researching, learning, publishing, speaking and hosting autism conferences worldwide to gain and share knowledge. The intervention program I got him into worked on his communication, cognition, balance, sensory and social skills. We didn’t use a particular methodology such as Applied Behavior Analysis, which gained popularity two years after Jonathan left the program, though that may have helped even more. Back then there were only thirty five autism publications and now there are thousands, a virtual wealth of information.

Our children with autism are here through our life span and theirs. Though preventing autism and finding its cause (if there is one) and subsequent cure are greatly important to many efforts, it is even more important to help the hundreds of thousands of people already diagnosed with autism deal with the diagnosis. This can be helped along by learning to reduce the symptoms of the disorder. By reducing the symptoms you can help your child live a healthier and more fulfilling life. There are many people who believe whole-heartedly that autism just means being different and that it doesn’t need to be prevented or cured. There are many gifted minds that seem to fit into the autistic spectrum, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Marie Curie, and possibly even Bill Gates. Looking at the names that can be linked to autism one has to admit that some great things have come from their minds.

If you want to be healthier and have the loved ones around you have better lives, understand that there are many interventions, preventative measures to consider with Autism. A literal wealth of information is now available to help you understand and manage the disorder.

Some of the biomedical interventions include using hyperbaric oxygen chambers, heavy metal and other detoxification programs, special gluten and casein free diets, Anti-Viral and Nasal Methyl B-12, sensory integration, behavioral interventions, just to mention a few. Many of these therapies and techniques can be used in a preventative manner and even help people not on the autism spectrum to lead healthier lives. Many of these interventions and strategies can also work harmoniously with existing medical interventions.

Finally, if you are concerned about someone you know with autism, it is important to use the latest and most effective therapies and techniques. If you are considering having children, it is important to prevent harm ahead of time and start early by carrying, birthing and raising healthy children so they can survive and then thrive in our toxic world.

There is so much information about interventions to consider, especially online, but you must learn how to wade through and choose the most efficient and effective options. If you are interested in learning more about autism interventions or simply want to learn more about breakthrough strategies to improve general health please visit

Author's Bio: 

Karen Simmons is the mother to six, two with special needs, best selling author and the Founder/ CEO of Autism Today©, a world leader, speaker and conference coordinator in autism information, research and resources. As the Internet Entrepreneur Award winner of the year, Simmons website joins autism and special needs communities for all concerned.

Simmons is also the author of five widely cherished books, and two CD’s including "Little Rainman" and Gold Medal recipient, “The Official Autism 101 Manual”. She is also co-author along with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Heather McNamara of “Chicken Soup For The Soul, Children with Special Needs”.